Aeroplanes and Dirigibles of War
The captive balloon may be operated from any spot where facilities exist for anchoring the paying out cable together with winding facilities for the latter. Consequently, if exigencies demand, it maybe operated from the deck of a warship so long as the latter is stationary, or even from an automobile. It is of small cubic capacity, inasmuch as it is only necessary for the bag to contain sufficient gas to lift one or two men to a height of about 500 or 600 feet.
When used in the field the balloon is generally inflated at the base, to be towed or carried forward by a squad of men while floating in the air, perhaps at a height of 10 feet. A dozen men will suffice for this duty as a rule, and in calm weather little difficulty is encountered in moving from point to point. This method possesses many advantages. The balloon can be inflated with greater ease at the base, where it is immune from interference by hostil